Charlotte's REEL Urban Network (RUN) to the Democratic National Convention
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Making Our Vision a Reality – The Web Team

As the ideas and partnerships began to form, we realized that the best way to reach youths today is through new media.  We also realized that Westside graduates span across the nation and overseas; therefore, a media link to connect our voices surfaced as the only way to connect and dialogue through pictures, blogs, stories, and videos.  Unfortunately, there was only 6 weeks to build a site capable of handling hundreds to thousands of new members engaging across multiple platforms and no bankroll to fund the venture.

Networking conversation by conversation, a one time contact with Bridget B. Sullivan of Ignite Charlotte resulted in a tweet to her friends, “Smith students need help building a Web site for community outreach.”  She was answered by two friends, Laura Mitchell and Raquel Velez, who made contact with our project managers and offered their free services to “support student voices.”

These Westside supporters and citizens have met with our team and students to build our ideas to the amazing site you see today.  They met with our professors and students to train us on site navigation and worked for nights and weekends, outside of their day jobs, to “pay it forward” for our students.

Their work has provided more than just a site.  It has provided our students with an example of what it is like to donate your heart and soul to “unknown students” simply to give them the opportunity to build their voice and connect with their community.

~ About the volunteers ~

Raquel VelezRaquel Velez – A former robotics engineer, Raquel currently uses technology to bring people together, with experience in back-end development, social media integration, project management and technology consulting.  She is so pumped to help bring JCSU and the Westside communities together through RUN-DNC!
Laura MitchellLaura Mitchell – A Westside resident for over a year, Laura has over 15 years of experience in advertising/marketing communications, with over 9 years in Web design, user experience and front-end development. Old skool enough to remember RUN-DMC from back in the day!